The infamous golden-haired mischief-maker is dressed up as a Native American in an appalling miscalculation that makes this potentially charming storybook app utterly missable.
Modern adaptations of classic folk tales abound in the App Store, since the stories are so well-known and still strike a common chord (and don’t entail pesky copyright problems). This interpretation starts out by casting Goldilocks as a young, generic (except for the blonde curls) Native American girl in a dreadful use of stereotypical images that adds nothing to the story. A totem pole, tepees, fringed skirt and braided hair are all mixed in with desert cacti in a bizarre mashup that disregards any cultural relevance or specificity. Were it not for this fatal flaw, the app might be a winner. The bears are recast from the traditional family roles as Mr. White, Mr. Black and Mr. Brown, sporting, respectively, a red bow tie, a meerschaum pipe and a monocle. When the bears politely confront her, the young troublemaker sees nightmarish versions of reality. They sing; she hears vicious roaring. They offer her more soup; she is convinced that they want to cook her alive! Goldilocks runs home, leaving the bears staring in surprise, “What an impolite creature.” The text and narration are available in eight languages, and the interface works smoothly. Background music and forest noises add nicely to the overall tone.
Stereotypical Native American images ruin this otherwise pleasant adaptation; should the developer take advantage of the flexibility of the medium to correct them, it will be a keeper. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)